The success of applying scripture, written thousands of years ago, to our modern day search for Christ-like character can be challenging. Mid-east culture lays the backdrop for the Holy Bible, then fast forward more than a millennia to the translators who could only see the scripture through their cultural understanding. The evidence is clear, only the Holy Spirit could have brought the Church this far. In a recent interview for a college research paper I was asked, “Why is Christianity divided into so many different groups?” In order to answer I first felt to make her aware of the “singularity” on the Day of Pentecost.
They were all in one accord and agreement due to the sudden overwhelming experience of the mighty rushing wind that was stirred by the Holy Spirit coming in. Soon though, as they began to apply scripture to daily living, division came. Arguably, the root of the division was each person's emphasized revelation of specific scripture. Even today, when the Holy Spirit reveals something to us within the Word it is very valuable to us and we anxiously share it with others. Often, our revelation doesn’t stir the same emotional response in others and that can be disappointing. Throughout the centuries, scriptural emphasis has caused people to raise themselves above their Brethren and separate the Body of Christ into denominations. So, what is the hope of unity within the Church? How can we fulfill Psalm 133 of “How good and pleasant it is for the Brethren to dwell in unity.”?
BLOOD & FIRE
2 Corinthians 3:6 says, [God] Who made us able Ministers of the New Covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit, for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. What would have been the focus of that pre-Pentecost prayer meeting? Scripture says, Jesus spent days speaking to them of the Kingdom (Acts 1:3) just prior to that prayer meeting. The blood, death and resurrection would have also been at the forefront of their minds. These were the topics that brought unity to the 120 in the upper room and this is the pattern that still holds true today.
As they focused, meditated, searched scriptures and cried out to God concerning these topics a stirring began to take place in Heaven. It didn’t matter what was going on with politics, armies, currencies nor religion. The early Church was being separated from the world and raised up toward Heaven as a lightning rod for its birth. And, history reveals that every true move of God since then has these same common denominators. The Wesley’s and Whitfields, the Parham’s and Finney’s, the Edward’s and the Evan’s all brought the Presence, Glory and Power of God by praying with the Kingdom, Blood, Crucifixion and Resurrection in mind and priority.
UNTO THE LAMB
Relating to the flood of Noah’s time, the point of view could have appeared that instead of the waters receding, the mountains were rising. Peaks began to appear, rising above the waters, and the Dove (Holy Spirit) which had been sent out and previously returned, now found a place for the soles of her feet to rest. A similar picture can be drawn when the nation of Israel passed through the Red Sea. As the depth lessened towards the shoreline line the people of God appeared appeared to be elevating upon the other side and there the Holy Spirit was waiting to greet them. Centuries later, as the Lamb of God rose from the baptismal waters of the Jordan, the Holy Spirit descended and rested.
In the scriptures, often times waters are a prophetic symbol of humanity. John, in the Book of the Revelation, wrote about a sea of humanity (Rev. 17:15). Places of refuge for God’s Presence are about to cover the earth as never before. These places will experience a condensed manifestation of His Presence and Love that has never been experienced. The results will be a Church that becomes clothed in bright linen of righteousness, a multitude of the lost being born-again, supernatural provision of our needs and miraculous defense of our regions. So, what will determine these “Places of Refuge?” The Holy Spirit has found a place of rest. He has found a people who have risen above the “sea of humanity” and its concerns. He has come to those rising out of the waters of this world.
The Father will bless these who are separated. This is when we will be anointed, and where the anointing is there will the Holy Spirit come upon us and not depart.
You who love righteousness and hate wickedness, your God will anoint you with the oil of gladness above your companions.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Larry Cole is a Pastor and entrepreneur living in Boone, North Carolina. He is the Founder and Pastor of Appalachian House of Prayer and the Founder of Torch Bearer Leadership Development. A graduate of the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry, Larry lives to exalt Jesus through establishing every Believer into fellowship with the Holy Spirit in preparing the Bride of Christ for Her wedding day. He is married to his wife, Carla, and they have 2 children and 2 grandchildren. Larry is committed to helping restore the Body of Christ to the New Covenant of God’s Presence.